Who We Are

Our Team

Executives

Kimberly Forsythe, President

Kim founded Shine On! Kids (formerly the Tyler Foundation) with her husband, Mark Ferris, after their son, Tyler, died from complications of infant leukemia in 2006. From 1990, Kim worked in Tokyo as a professional voice over artist, TV and radio announcer, and a narrator for educational recordings. She graduated with BA in mathematics and a MS in systems engineering from the University of Virginia.

 

Miho Neely, General Manager

Miho joined Shine On! Kids in 2015 as the general manager. Her extensive media production background working with TV Tokyo, NHK, and Disney Channel has served Shine On! Kids well in both crafting and managing our multiple projects, programs, PR and communications events. Prior to joining full time, she produced several charity events for Shine On! Kids and the American School in Japan over the years. She graduated from Senshu University in 1991.

Hospital Facility Dog Staff

Yuko Morita, Hospital Facility Dog Nurse Handler

Yuko joined Shine On! Kids as our first Hospital Facility Dog nurse handler in 2009. She began working with Bailey, but after his retirement in 2019 was assigned to Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center where she currently works as the nurse handler for Annie. Prior to joining Shine On! Kids, Yuko was a nurse at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo. In 2004, she graduated from Shizuoka University with a degree in nursing.

 

Keiko Suzuki, Hospital Facility Dog Nurse Handler

Keiko joined Shine On! Kids in 2015 as the Hospital Facility Dog nurse handler for Yogi at Shizuoka Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining Shine On! Kids, Keiko worked as a nurse at Tokyo Teishin Hospital and Showa University Hospital. In 1985, she graduated from Fuchu Nursing School in Tokyo.

 

 

Mayuko Ohashi, Hospital Facility Dog Nurse Handler

Mayuko first learned of Shine On! Kids’ Hospital Facility Dog Program through Yuko Morita when they were colleagues at a children’s hospital. She joined Shine On! Kids in 2019 as the Hospital Facility Dog nurse handler for Ivy at Tokyo Metropolitan Children’s Medical Center. She joins us with over 16 years’ clinical experience and graduated from National Sagamihara Hospital Nursing School in 2001.

 

Marina Rodriguez, Occupational Therapist, Hospital Facility Dog Trainer and Program Development Manager

Marina has been working with trained Assistance Dogs at internationally accredited organizations in the US and Argentina for the last seven years. She joined Shine On! Kids and relocated to Japan in 2018 to train our two new puppies, Masa and Ty, to become fully trained Hospital Facility Dogs. Marina received her degree in occupational therapy from the Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Argentina, in 2018.

 

Natsuko Murata, Hospital Facility Dog Program Manager

Natsuko received her PhD in animal behavior from the University of Tokyo in 2013. After completing a three-month doctoral internship, Natsuko joined the Shine On! Kids team full time in April 2014 as the program coordinator for Beads of Courage. In 2016, she became the program coordinator for the Hospital Facility Dog Program and was promoted to manager in 2019.

 

Shine On! Kids Office Staff

Hiroko Hashizume

PR Manager

Toru Hirozane

Deputy General Manager

Kaori Ishimoto

Accounting and Administration

Kyoko Kato

CSR/Event Coordinator

Yoko Kim

Beads of Courage® Coordinator

Michiyo Shimoeda

Beads of Courage® Ambassador Trainer

Mima Seminara

Marketing and Communications Manager, English

Meet Our Hospital Facility Dogs

Bailey, male, Golden Retriever

Bailey was born in Australia on December 14, 2007, and received his Facility Dog training at Assistance Dogs of Hawaii. After graduating in 2010, he arrived in Tokyo to become Japan’s first full-time Animal Assisted Facility Dog along with his nurse handler Yuko Morita at Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center. After eight years of amazing service, Bailey retired from his post at Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center. He now spends his days resting, playing with his friends, and helping set an example for his predecessors.

 

Yogi, male, Golden Retriever

Yogi was born in Australia on June 18, 2011. At two months old, he went to Assistance Dogs of Hawaii where he received specialized training until he was one year old. After graduating, he came to Japan and became the second Hospital Facility Dog for Shine On! Kids. Yogi is currently based at Shizuoka Children’s Hospital with his nurse handler Keiko Suzuki.

 

Annie, female, Golden Retriever

Annie was born in Australia on March 27, 2016. She began her year-long training at Assistance Dogs of Hawaii when she was two months old. She arrived in Japan in 2017 as the third Hospital Facility Dog to begin working at Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center with her nurse handler Yuko Morita.

 

 

Ivy, female, Labrador Retriever

Ivy was born in California on January 22, 2017. At two months old she began training at Assistance Dogs Northwest (Seattle, Washington) and after graduation transitioned to Assistance Dogs of Hawaii where she continued her training to become a Hospital Facility Dog. Ivy now works at Tokyo Metropolitan Children’s Medical Center—the third hospital in Japan to adopt Shine On! Kids’ Facility Dog Program and also the very first in Tokyo—with her nurse handler Mayuko Ohashi. Although relatively new to the role, Ivy takes her work as a Hospital Facility Dog seriously and she works very hard!

 

Ty, male, Golden Retriever

Ty was born on February 23, 2019, and arrived in Japan a few months later from Career Dogs Australia to begin training to become a Hospital Facility Dog with Shine On! Kids.

Loves: Snuggles, playing ball, and birds

Hates: Bathtime

Shine On! Kids Co-founder Kim Forsythe’s late son—and inspiration for the organization—was named Tyler and therefore Ty was named in his honor.

Masa, male, Labrador Retriever

Masa was born on March 7, 2019, and arrived in Japan a few months later to begin his training.

Loves: To rest his chin on people, food, and sleeping

Hates: Waking up early

Masa was named after the late Dr. Masaki Kumagai, who was not only Shine On! Kids’ biggest supporter, but also Tyler Ferris’s pediatric oncologist during his treatment.

Both Ty and Masa’s temperament and health were evaluated from an early age and they were carefully selected for indications of talent and competency to become Hospital Facility Dogs.

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